Sunday, November 29, 2009


. The discovery of the Cape of Good Hope route to India by the Portuguese navigator, Vasco-da-Gama, in 1498 led to a struggle among European nations for supremacy over trade with the East.
. Vasco-da-Gama's arrival at Calicut in 1498 was greeted by the local ruler, Zamorin.
. Francisco de Almeida was the first Portuguese governor in India. However, Alfonso de Albuquerque, who cap­tured Goa from Bijapur in 1510, was the real founder of the Portuguese rule in the East.
. The Dutch East India Company was formed in 1602. In India, Nagapattanam and Chinsura (Bengal) were the main strongholds of the Dutch.
. In 1600, the East India Company, an English company formed in 1599, was granted a royal charter by Queen Elizabeth I to trade in the East.
. William Hawkins, an ambassador of King James I, stayed in Jahangir's court from 1609 to 1611, while Sir Thomas Roe, another British ambassador, reached Jahangir's court in 1615.
. In 1662, King Charles II of England got Bombay from Portugal as dowry for marrying a Portuguese princess.
. In 1717, the East India Company (under the leadership of John Surman) secured from the Mughal emperor, Farrukhsiyar a Jarman to trade not only in, Bengal but also in Gujarat and Deccan. The Jarman thus obtained was regarded the Magna Carta of the company.
. The French East India Company was founded in 1664. The first French factory was established at Surat in 1668.
. The long Dutch-English struggle (1654-1667) was finally settled with English giving up claims to Spice Islands of Indonesia, Java and Sumatra (in the main Dutch
interests) and the Dutch agreeing to leave India for Britain.
. The English built Fort St. George in Madras in 1641. . British kings Charles II and James II made the East India Company's rights in India permanent.
. Before the establishment of the city of Calcutta Hoogly 1
was the largest English settlement in India. . Goa was the administrative base of the Portuguese. . The Portuguese were the first Europeans to set their foothold in India.
. Within the first decade of the seventeenth century, the Portuguese dominance in India was replaced by the Dutch.
. In 1606, the Dutch obtained a Jarman from the Golconda Sultan to set up a factory at Masulipatnam.
. In 1680, Aurangzeb levied jaziya on the East India Company and issued aJarman that the Company's trade would be customs-free everywhere save Surat. It is said that for achieving this Jarman the Company spent Rs 50,000 to bribe the Mughal officers.
. The Portuguese governor, Almeida, defeated the com­bined fleet of Egypt, Gujarat and Zamorin of Calicut in 1509.
. The Mughal army waged a disastrous war with the East India Company in Surat following the capture of several Mughal ships by the English interlopers-the individual English merchants independent of the Company's con­trol-in the Red Sea, in 1686.
. The Portuguese Estado da India, the name given to the Portuguese maritime empire, was seen as indulging in "a pirated and parasitic trade" because it believed in ruthless plunder of Asian ships and considered piracy and plunder more profitable than trade.


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